Boris Papandopulo: Works for Piano and Strings — Works for Me

Boris Papandopulo was one of Croatia’s most important composers. Almost single-handedly he created a national style of classical music. Papandopulo incorporated Croatian folk music into his work. But that was just the starting point.

He had very eclectic tastes and brought other musical forms into his compositions. Twelve-tone technique, jazz, and even post-war avant-garde concepts were fair game.

Papandopulo also had a sense of humor. Many of his compositions have a light-hearted or even an ironic feel to them.

This release collects a sampling of chamber music from this prolific composer. The Concertino in modo antico, Op. 58 is probably the best known. Papandopulo, like Stravinsky and Respighi, recast earlier music forms into neo-classical gems.

The concertino has the frothiness of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. And it’s just as masterfully composed. Papandopulo shows his skill at fugal writing and melodic lyricism.

That melodic gift is also apparent in the Fantasy for Violin and Piano. Papandopulo alternates between passages of thrilling intensity and heart-breaking poignancy. The Rapsodia Concertante for Cello and Piano has a similar construction. Here, though, the folk elements are closer to the surface.

The Lyrical Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano delivers on the title’s promise. Papadopulos’ development of his themes seems effortless.

The musicians on this release all play with energy and tasteful expression. They also understand Papandopulo’s intent. To me, it sounded like they were having a good time as they played.

A thoroughly enjoyable collection of music!

Boris Papandopulo: Works for Piano and Strings
Oliver Triendl, piano; Amaury Coeytux, Vanessa Szigeti, violin, Andrei Ionita, cello
CPO 555106-2

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